UPDATE: Lakewood Township Committee Approves Banquet Hall Ordinance

UPDATE: The Lakewood Township Committee voted 3-0 to approve the banquet hall ordinance.

The committee also voted to adopt the Planning Board’s recommendation and excluded schools in residential zones.

However, the committee, taking into account the other recommendations made by the Planning Board regarding the amount of required parking spots, changed their initial draft to reflect similar to what the board recommended.

Original article: 

The Lakewood Township Committee is scheduled to vote at their Thursday meeting on an ordinance which would legalize catering facilities and banquet halls for all schools, according to tonight’s schedule.

Today’s vote comes after the ordinance was approved last week by the Planning Board by a 4-1 vote.

Prior to their vote, the Planning Board made some minor recommendations, which included revising the ordinance to require one parking space per every 45 square feet of banquet facility space, including the kitchen facility. That id slightly different than the original draft, which called for one parking space for every 50 square feet.

The Planning Board also voted to recommend excluding schools in residential zones from having banquet halls.

However, the Township Committee will have the final say regarding those recommendations, which they can adopt or leave out.

According to the text of ordinance 2022-046, which was recently introduced, “where schools are permitted uses, catering facilities and banquet halls shall be allowed as accessory uses in the schools buildings.”

Under current law, the township is silent when it comes to most schools regarding them having a catering or banquet hall on its premises, as opposed to Shuls and hotels, which are allowed to have them.

Although many schools in town do indeed have a banquet hall in their building, that is usually because they were later allowed as an “accessory use for the school,” a complex term which can be legally difficult to define precisely.

According to this new proposed ordinance, which will undergo its first second and final reading at tonight’s meeting, if the area used for the banquet hall is under 800 square feet, then no new parking spaces will need to be added.

But if the area used is between 800 and 1,999 square feet, only 0.75 parking spaces will be required for every 100 square feet of space being utilized for the hall.

And if the hall is 2,000 square feet or greater, then 1 parking space for every 100 square feet will be required.

It is not clear exactly how the 0.75/1 parking spot ratio has been determined.

It is also not clear if schools will even be required to provide additional parking spot on top of what they already have.

A careful reading of the proposed ordinance seems to indicate that a school’s existing spots would work towards the total number of spots needed for the banquet hall.

If they are short, then new parking spaces would be required to be provided.

It should be noted that these new parking requirements, if approved, will only be for future halls.

The committee meets tonight at 5:30pm.

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19 COMMENTS

  1. I read about and hear opposition to this ordinance all over. How can they just ignore the opinions and feelings of the citizens of Lakewood and neighbors of these future halls?!

  2. So a 3000 Sq Ft (Bris or small Bar Mitzva) hall will only need to provide 30 parking spots.

    Have you ever seen a bris or Bar Mitzva with only 30 attendees?

  3. Do they represent the common person in Lakewood or only special interests???
    Isn’t it blatantly obvious what the average person in Lakewood is begging for???
    Have they no shame???
    Shockingly they don’t even feel the need to answer or explain ??.

  4. @Yidel, they don’t have to answer or explain because we, the sheeple, keep on voting for them no matter what they do. We must show them that there are consequences for ignoring the will of the people & vote them out!

  5. I SUPPORT this bill as K’H our population is growing and we need many more halls and other venues, plus many of these halls like the Schron one will not even turn a profit it is being down as a pure act of chesed to Yidden starting a new life and building a Bayis Neeman Byisroel. anything making it easier to build should be supported.

    • The town might not, but economics will shut many of them down in that circumstance.
      (Probably the ones in residential areas will be the LAST to go, because of Shabbos simchos)

  6. I did vote against these people buy apparently not enough others followed. You MUST vote them all out. Changes in the ordinance should state that halls are permitted on the blocks of any member of the planning board or township committee only. What a joke. Taxation without representation.

    • And I voted for them. As did many other people I know.
      The fact that your desire wasn’t met in an election, doesn’t make them a joke or taxation without representation.
      There are many politicians representing my vote, with whom I disagree in many issues, but I typically try to voice my disagreement in a manner that demonstrates the logic of my opinion as opposed to just calling names.

  7. The most important thing to do is “show up” for the virtual meeting. Email in your thoughts during the meeting or if you wish, connect to the meeting and go live with your concerns. Email or call the committee members before the meeting if you have their contact information. For 25 people or so to show displeasure here on the scoop in a town of 100,000+, that is just a drop in the basket and will hold no weight. I understand the need for halls, but they should not come at the cost of neighborhoods bearing the chaos from 5pm to 12-1am in the morning. The parking spots required is just a fantasy figure as stated in previous posts so that has to be addressed as well. People need to attend the next time when the planning board is revising the zoning and growth outlook so that things such as this can be addressed before being written into the township laws. My street stood up as a large diverse group and was able to stop a development in our neighborhood that would have probably been approved by the planning board if we had not. So, if you truly are against this you need to step up and make your thoughts heard where it counts, at the township meeting. Otherwise, be ready for gridlock not in just some sections of town, but in all areas of town because if you look at any map there are schools in practically every area. Show the township committee that you are willing to speak up and not be a steppingstone for whoever the big donor was that proposed this nonsense (and probably doesn’t live anywhere near any of the schools).

    • I’m not sure you realize people are extremely busy especially since a good chunk of their time gets wasted sitting in traffic nobody follows what goes on in the township and that allows the elected officials to do whatever they want.
      However the fact that people are too busy to pay attention should be a reason for them to be ever more attentive to the needs of the people despite the fact that people cannot deal with these issues themselves.

  8. In order to vote them out, we need viable candidates to run against them. We have to have someone capable and accountable to vote FOR in order to vote AGAINST.

  9. It’s only allowed in non residential zones. Why don’t people read the ordinance. In a residential zone the banquet hall will not be allowed

    • The original ordinance that was presented allowed halls in residential zones. The planning board forwarded their recommendation to exclude halls in residential areas which the committee agreed to and passed tonight. So previous to tonight at about 5:40pm there was still a chance the halls were going to be allowed in residential zones.

Comments are closed.